BETHESDA’S Ambassador: Jurgens Hendriks
In 1974, Jurgens Hendriks completed his doctoral research at the University of Edinburgh and, in 1975, exchanged Scotland’s chill for the heat of the Northern Cape. For ten years he worked as a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church at Upington where he was involved especially with the establishment of the new Synod of the Northern Cape and the development of the Uizip Conference Centre/Youth Development project. In 1982, the congregation and region were blessed with a revival, which led to the development of integral ministerial adaptations (congregational development).
Partly as a result of this, he was called to the Faculty of Theology to establish the chair of Congregational Development/Ministerial Practice. In the Department of Practical Theology and Missiology, he taught modules related to the practice of ministry: Congregational Studies and Analyses, Strategic Planning, Leadership and Conflict Resolution. His book, Studying Congregations in Africa, ushered in a period in congregational studies and research. He retired – but is still involved with post graduate work and research being an accredited researcher as the National Research Foundation.
He founded and was the director of the Unit for Religious and Development Research (URDR) that offers a consultation service to congregations, denominations and NGO’s all over Africa.
He also initiated the establishment of, and is the current Executive Director of, NetACT (Network for African Congregational Theology). At present the network is expanding forming networks in sub-Saharan Africa.
Quote from our Ambassador:
To me Bethesda is a case in point of how the church and believers validate the gospel in this new world of ours. Love can only be verified in action, in reaching out, in caring. Like the water in the baths of Bethesda that healed because of God’s touch, so the people that work at Bethesda are touched by God and thus His mercy and caring flows from what they do. To work and serve with such a team is both an honour and a blessing.
“Vir my is Bethesda ŉ voorbeeld van hoe die kerk en geloof in ŉ nuwe wêreld weer geloofwaardigheid terugwin. Op die ou einde spreek liefde die sterkste in dade. Woorde kan getuig van liefde, daaroor sing en praat, maar die fondament bly iemand wat sy lewe gee. Bethesda is vir my die getuienis van mense in wie se harte God die water geroer het en wat in die personeel wat daar werk en in die mense en organisasies wat die werk ondersteun hulle liefde in dade bewys. Dis altyd lekker om in ŉ wenspan te speel – en vir my is die Bethesda-span ŉ wenspan en is dit lekker om saam met hulle te dien.”